Tuesday, August 4, 2015


"So Moses spoke accordingly to the Children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of shortness of breath and hard work."  Exodus 6:9  Tanach

Their workload was already grueling and monotonous. Now thanks to their newly arrived deliverer Moses, life was exponentially harder. Pharaoh interpreted God's demand to release the people for a three-day worship service as laziness. Since the slaves had so much spare time on their hands, they could gather the straw needed and maintain their daily quota of bricks. Despite God's assurance of deliverance and the revelation of his previously unknown name Hashem (Merciful), the Israelites were too exhausted to receive God's word. Sound familiar?

I doubt anyone reading this is actually a slave, but many might feel that way. Some struggle under the weight of crushing circumstances. Stressful jobs, severe financial shortages, chronic health issues, dysfunctional families, loneliness and hopelessness are real issues. Harsh task masters come in many flavors, all bitter to swallow. Tired of life, some would love to stop the world and get off. Just like the Israelites they are too overworked, worn out and discouraged to hear what God is saying. Nothing new.

The enemy employs this tactic successfully in different iterations. Slavery's fine but a bit too obvious. Create a system that promises power, success, wealth, happiness and people jump on board voluntarily. Once committed, keep them engaged with opportunities that offer more. Throw in some unexpected curve balls that bring increased pressures and there's no time or energy left over for God. Works every time.

There's a solution, but it comes with a price. Salvation and reconciliation with God is free, no strings attached. It cannot be purchased or earned.

"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom though it cost you all you have; get it" Proverbs 4:7.

Written by Solomon the wisest man who ever lived, the words seem paradoxical and are true. The free gift comes with a cost. To receive all salvation contains requires change on our part. We need to learn a brand new way of living which means we need to relinquish things, even good things in order to acquire what is best. It's called sacrifice.

Establishing new priorities can be expensive on many fronts. It may cost us the time and energy spent on amassing more and higher grade possessions, the pursuit of leisure activities and so forth. God's not against us having nice things and times of relaxation. The problem comes when life is so full of the quest for these things that He is squeezed out.

How about you?  Are you amply supplied or barely getting by, which is just another of the devil's methods? What are you willing to pay for a vital, intimate relationship with God? Are there good things you can let go of in order to attain what's best?

1 comment:

  1. Last Sunday's Sunday school lesson asked us a similiar question. It does cost us something when we choose to follow Jesus. I made a stand 30+ years ago that limits where we eat when we go out. It was for my husband's health and well-being. But, we still have each other and the LORD.